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Fear and Trembling

For over two years we have traveled the country full-time in an attempt to gain financial support from local Baptist churches for the Italian mission field where the Lord has called us to labor. Yesterday afternoon was rather surreal as we left our last meeting of deputation in Oceanside, California and drove towards home in Ohio. We stopped at a mission apartment for the night in Las Vegas and with my family settled inside I stood alone by our SUV. The elation I had felt earlier in the day was not the emotion I was now experiencing.

The responsibility of God’s call to the foreign mission field, the reality that we would be leaving all we’ve ever known in less than two months, the uncertainties of finding the right apartment for my family and the lack of our monetary start-up fund, the expectations of supporting churches, the necessity of learning the Italian language, the difficulties facing my wife and kids in the transition to a new culture, the good-byes to loved-ones, preparations for the big move, etc., all seemed to fall heavily upon my shoulders and I felt alone and afraid. A hundred questions flooded my mind as I looked up into the starry night and I cried out to God, “Lord, I’m insufficient for these things. I’m scared.” I continued to pray and felt completely overwhelmed.

The silence was interrupted by a friendly greeting from another missionary who was staying in the other part of the mission house duplex. He had come out to the driveway to retrieve something from his car and began a conversation with me. I really needed something from God but we exchanged pleasantries and he handed me a prayer card before returning back into the house.

My mind returned to the life-altering work God had called me to in Italy. Once again I began to feel very small and alone as I flipped the prayer card over and saw the scripture verse printed on the back…

“Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 28:20

The context is David admonishing Solomon as he prepared to take over the kingdom and build the Temple but the instruction of this scripture and its spiritual application to my life and situation was a timely answer from God. Thank you Lord Jesus for never failing me nor forsaking me. I’m excited about what God will accomplish in the work He has called me to as I yield myself to Him.

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